Want to innovate? 7 Tips From Steve Jobs

2016-12-01T19:13:56+00:00January 12th, 2015|Startup Culture|

There’s no doubt about it—Steve Jobs was a great entrepreneur and an incredible innovator. His innovations didn’t just impact one industry, but five: technology, music, telecommunications, entertainment (he funded Pixar and became its CEO and chairman) and retail. In his book The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, author Carmine Gallo identifies seven principles that drove Jobs’ success. Whether you’re just starting up or scaling your company, you can apply these principles to becoming an entrepreneurial and innovative leader.

1. Do what you love

When you follow your heart and are passionate about what you do, you lay the foundation for your creativity. That keeps you motivated so when obstacles get in your way you have the strength to go on.

2. Put a dent in the universe

When you have a vision that others buy into, people follow you and stick with you even when things get bumpy. When your vision is bold, specific, concise and consistently communicated, people are more likely to join you on your journey and help you reach your destination.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it,” said Simon Sinek, in this TED speech How Great Leaders Inspire Action. Sinek was speaking about how Jobs and other leaders communicate. Focusing on why helps companies be more innovative, more profitable and command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike.

3. Kick start your brain

Exposing yourself to a broad set of experiences expands your understanding of the human condition. Jobs studied calligraphy in college, meditated in an Indian ashram and examined the Four Seasons hotel chain while developing the customer service model for Apple stores. He hired musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who he said “also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world” to work on the Macintosh.

4. Sell dreams not products

Forget focus groups in which customers tell you what they want. Most customers don’t know what they want in a new product. It’s your creativity that will imagine it. Of course you’re going to “listen” to your customers and ask them for feedback. When it comes to breakthrough ideas, however, it’s not your customer who will come up with them.

5. Saying no to 1,000 things

Customers may want you to add lots of components to your business. Knowing which are essential is key. For Jobs, the key to Apple’s success was that he kept his designs simple and uncluttered.

6. Create insanely great experiences

Use simple innovations to create deeper, more emotional connections with your customers. Apple stores have no cashiers. Instead they offer experts, consultants and even “geniuses” to provide a concierge-like experience, much like an elegant hotel does.

7. Master the message

Lots of people have great ideas. What differentiates those who succeed from those who don’t is having a compelling story. Jobs was one of the greatest corporate storytellers in the world because his presentations informed, educated and entertained. Forget bulleted PowerPoint slides. Think visually to bring your story to life.